HAROLD ROBBINS--What a guy! He certainly was my big inspiration. I grew up reading Harold Robbins, and he created such an exciting, glamorous, visual trip that, from the first chapter of A Stone for Danny Fisher, I was totally hooked. What a writer! Big, bad guys and beautiful women. My only hang-up with Harold was, Why were the beautiful women always so available to the big, bad guys? I've always preferred strong women who functioned outside the bedroom--or, in Harold's case, car, elevator, boat, etc.!

When I first met Harold, I realized he was a character straight out of one of...

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